Grade One Derby Sale Novice Hurdle Leopardstown Guide 2024

Joe Glayshier | @joeglayshier

Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
1
Brian Hayes

Absurde

J: Brian Hayes
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 39

Willie Mullins has several runners in the G1 Derby Sale Novice Hurdle including the favourite Ballyburn but the first we take a look at is Absurde. The six-year-old has been switching between runs on the flat and over hurdles, winning the Ebor at York in the process back in August last year.

He begun well over hurdles in May last term, winning at Killarney before finishing sixth in a listed contest at Galway. He then travelled here for the G1 Future Champion Novice Hurdle with a bit of promise but was pulled up before the last flight.

This is another tough test and it would be surprising to see him win against some good novices. Brian Hayes will do the steering.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/24LEO16Sft11-124
27/12/23LEO16Hy11-12PU
07/11/23FLE16Gd8-57
26/08/23YOR14GF9-71
01/08/23GAL16.5Y11-66
Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
9
Sam Ewing

King Of Kingsfield

J: Sam Ewing
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 140
Days: 40

Gordon Elliott has a couple in this G1 novice at the Dublin Racing Festival on Sunday in the form of Farren Glory and King Of Kingsfield. The latter arrives here on the back of finishing first in a maiden hurdle contest here in December, where he beat 5/6fav Mirazur West (who has since won) by six lengths to claim a first win over obstacles.

That was a welcome victory after three runner-up finishes at Fairyhouse (twice) and Naas, including a length and a half defeat to stable companion and second in the market here Farren Glory in the G1 Royal Bond.

This is another tough assignment and it doesn't look likely that he will reverse the form with Farren Glory or the favourite Ballyburn.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/24LEO16Sft11-123
26/12/23LEO16Y11-121
03/12/23FAI16Sft11-122
12/11/23NAA16Sft11-122
02/10/23FAI16Sft11-122
Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
2
Paul Townend

Ballyburn

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 37

The second of the Willie Mullins runners in this contest is the current market favourite, Ballyburn. The six-year-old has had a great start to his racing career, winning two Punchestown bumpers last term before making the switch to hurdles at the start of this campaign in early December.

He finished second on debut in a Fairyhouse maiden by just over two lengths to 1/1 shot Firefox (Jack Kennedy & Gordon Elliott) before opening his account over the obstacles in emphatic fashion here at the end of December, triumphing in a 2m 4f hurdle race by 25 lengths.

Ballyburn looks more than capable of the step up here and is probably the one to beat in the hands of Paul Townend.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/24LEO16Sft11-121
29/12/23LEO20Sft/Hy11-121
02/12/23FAI16Sft11-122
27/04/23PUN16Gd/Y12-01
19/02/23PUN16Y12-01
Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
5
Jack Kennedy

Farren Glory

J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 40

Gordon Elliott's best hope of winning the G1 Derby Sale Novice Hurdle looks to be his seven-year-old Farren Glory. The gelding had put his fifth-place finish on hurdling debut at Fairyhouse behind him by winning a Clonmel maiden in November by over nine lengths.

He then further improved to win the G1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse in December, ahead of stablemate King Of Kingsfield and was travelling strongly in the G1 Formby Novices' Hurdle at Aintree on Boxing Day, but fell at the penultimate hurdle.

We cannot say if he would've won that day but he was certainly in with a big chance, and can go close here if continuing to improve for Jack Kennedy and Elliott.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/24LEO16Sft11-129
26/12/23AIN16.5Sft11-8F
03/12/23FAI16Sft11-121
09/11/23CLO19.5Hy11-121
09/04/23FAI20.5Y11-35
Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
10
Rachael Blackmore

Slade Steel

J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 57

Henry De Bromhead boasts one runner in this G1 two mile hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday in the form of Slade Steel. The six-year-old has begun his career in smart fashion, winning on debut in a Punchestown bumper before a third-place finish at the same course.

He then made the switch to hurdles at Naas, winning a 22-runner maiden by just over five lengths to fellow runner here and 8/11fav on the day King Of Kingsfield. He was then thrust into graded company by his trainer, winning the G2 Navan Novice Hurdle by a half-length to the Willie Mullins-trained Lecky Watson.

This is harder but it is difficult to rule him out on the early form that he has shown. Rachael Blackmore is on board.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/24LEO16Sft11-122
09/12/23NAV20Hy11-31
12/11/23NAA16Sft11-121
27/04/23PUN16Gd/Y11-73
19/12/22PUN16.5Sft11-71
Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
4
Mr P W Mullins

Daddy Long Legs

J: Mr P W Mullins
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 39

Another Willie Mullins runner to talk about in the G1 Derby Sale Novice Hurdle is Daddy Long Legs. The five-year-old is one of the lesser experienced horses in this contest, with just two runs to his name in his career so far.

After finishing second on his Flat debut at Saint-Cloud, he switched to this yard for his venture over hurdles and finished first on debut at Thurles by 13 lengths to Cleatus Poolaw in second. He was then sent off as 9/4fav in the G1 Future Champion Novice Hurdle here in late December, but was pulled up before the last by Paul Townend.

He's highly regarded and in good hands but Townend opts for Ballyburn here which suggests he isn't the top hope from the Mullins stable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/24LEO16Sft11-126
27/12/23LEO16Hy11-12PU
30/11/23THU16.5Y11-121
24/05/22SAI12Sft9-22
Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
3
Donagh Meyler

Boher Road

J: Donagh Meyler
T: Jarlath P Fahey
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-12
OR: 127
Days: 139

Jarlath Fahey has one runner in this grade one novice race at the DRF on Sunday in the form of Boher Road. The five-year-old is one of the youngest runners in this contest and won for the first time over hurdles at the third time of asking at Wexford in September by 19 lengths in a comfortable success.

He followed that by finishing seventh in a listed handicap at Listowel in September and was a fair way off the winner on that occasion and looks in a bit of trouble here in much deeper waters.

The 127-rated gelding is the market outsider and looks like one to avoid here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/09/23LIS16Gd/Y11-37
01/09/23WEX16.5Y11-31
28/07/23DRO10.5Gd10-010
15/07/23NAV10Sft9-121
16/06/23COR12Y8-138
Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
8
Mark Walsh

Jit Langy

J: Mark Walsh
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 262

It seems like every Irish race that there is seven hundred Willie Mullins runners as there is another one to talk about for this one in the form of Jit Langy. The five-year-old finished fourth on his racing debut at Fontainebleau back in September 2022 before a runner-up finish on hurdling debut at Auteuil, behind Gust Of Wind.

He then made his debut for the Mullins yard at Tipperary in May last year, winning a maiden hurdle contest by four lengths to Samui and now makes his seasonal reappearance in this tough test.

There should be more to come from this gelding but winning this looks tough given he is inexperienced over hurdles and at this sort of level. Mark Walsh does the steering.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/24LEO16Sft11-125
18/05/23TIP16Gd/Y10-131
29/09/22AUT18VSft10-102
12/09/22FNT13GS9-114
Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
7
Danny Mullins

Gold Dancer

J: Danny Mullins
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 270

The last runner for Mullins in this race on Sunday is five-year-old Gold Dancer. The gelding has only had two runs in his career so far, finishing third on debut at Compiegne when 9/2fav before going one better next time out at the same course in May of last year for former trainer Arnaud Chaille-Chaille.

It would spark little surprise if he was to turn out to be a smart recruit for Mullins' yard but this looks like a tough ask for his first assignment away from France in G1 company.

Danny Mullins is booked to ride.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/24LEO16Sft11-127
10/05/23COM18Hy10-101
29/10/22COM17VSft10-103
Leopardstown - February 04 2024
Leopardstown 13:40
6
Sean Flanagan

Fascile Mode

J: Sean Flanagan
T: Thomas Mullins
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 39

The last horse in the G1 Derby Sale Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown is Thomas Mullins' Fascile Mode. The six-year-old arrives here on the back of finishing fourth in the G1 Future Champions Novice Hurdle here in December.

That run had followed a sixth-place finish in the G1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse, behind a few of these rivals after winning easily in a 2m Punchestown maiden back in October.

He won by twelve lengths that day, but has failed to build on that in G1 company and he may be a bit out of his depth at this level. Difficult to fancy.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/24LEO16Sft11-128
27/12/23LEO16Hy11-124
03/12/23FAI16Sft11-126
11/10/23PUN16Y/Sft11-121
10/04/23FAI16Y/Sft11-44